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House of Mirth - Edith Wharton

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The House of Mirth


Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand
Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss
Lily Bart.

It was a Monday in early September, and he was returning to his
work from a hurried dip into the country; but what was Miss Bart
doing in town at that season? If she had appeared to be catching
a train, he might have inferred that he had come on her in the
act of transition between one and another of the country-houses
which disputed her presence after the close of the Newport
season; but her desultory air perplexed him. She stood apart from
the crowd, letting it drift by her to the platform or the street,
and wearing an air of irresolution which might, as he surmised,
be the mask of a very definite purpose. It struck him at once
that she was waiting for some one, but he hardly knew why the
idea arrested him. There was nothing new about Lily Bart, yet he
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